Serica, the operator of the Kutai production sharing contract (PSC), holds a 78% interest as a result of the interest acquisition, while Ephindo holds a 22% interest. The Kutai PSC was awarded to Serica and Ephindo in January 2007 and covers an offshore area of around 4700sqkm in the Mahakam Delta.

The Kutai PSC is adjacent to the Mahakam PSC operated by French energy major Total and reportedly contains some of Indonesia’s largest gas and condensate fields, with total daily production of around 2.5 billion cubic feet of gas and 90,000 barrels of oil and condensate.

Total has an active exploration program and in October 2007 announced two new discoveries in the southern part of the Mahakam block, a few kilometers from the Kutai PSC.

Paul Ellis, Serica’s CEO, said: The Kutai block lies in the heart of a proven and prolific petroleum-producing province and we are delighted to have increased our stake. There is a large amount of existing modern 3D seismic data on the block and we are currently analyzing, reprocessing and interpreting the data in order to determine drilling locations for our first exploration campaign in the Mahakam Delta.